The New York Police Department learned a hard lesson in Social Media Marketing this week with their #myNYPD Twitter campaign. The Police Department asked its followers to tweet their favorite pictures of themselves with the officers of the NYPD. It started out sweetly enough, with the feed filling with images of officers and civilians posting jovially. Soon, however, followers started posting less friendly pictures.
The twitter feed was inundated with images of riots and physical altercations with the police. Not exactly the warm and fuzzy subject matter the NYPD was hoping for.
Two years ago, McDonalds made a similar mistake when they invited followers on Twitter to share their #McDStories. What followed was a litany of stories about poor customer service, inedible food and other horror stories.
These are extreme examples, but it’s a good lesson for social media marketers: Open ended questions can lead to unexpected answers. Photo contests and requests for stories can lead to complaints or negative feedback.
This doesn’t mean you should immediately close your business’ Twitter and Facebook pages, at JP William, we can help you devise a social media marketing strategy that will engage customers and discourage disasters.
How? Here are our favorite tips:
Practice Makes Perfect. Even the Declaration of Independence had a draft. Instead of writing off the cuff posts, take a moment to plan what you will say. Type it out, do something else for a few moments, and return to your planned post. Does it still sound good? Or have you found some wording that you’d like to change? Does the link work? It’s imperative to proof before you post.
Stay on Message. Do you have a social media strategy? Take the time to plan out exactly ‘who’ your company is on social media. Develop a tone and common topics or content you wish to provide for your customers. By creating a consistent presence, you’ll learn how to cultivate your customer base and tailor your content to them.
Continue the Conversation. Whether a complaint about your company or glowing praise about your services, comments are an essential way to build your social media reach. By becoming involved with your commenters, you’re showing interest and making a connection. Don’t be an impersonal information source. Engage your audience, address their comments and build a relationship with your customers.
With a bit of strategizing and some forethought, social media posting doesn’t have to be scary. So give JP William a call today and start posting with confidence!